Monday, May 16, 2011

Rare Sights and Sounds of Our Mysterious Universe!

Mountains on Saturn's Moon Iapetus                                                   NASA

Saturn's Rings with Its Moon Enceladus                                                   NASA
NASA has traveled farther and captured more incredible photos in just the last ten years than ever before, but sadly, they rarely make the news in any big way. From moon mountains and Polar Aurorae to the existence of a little moon called Enceladus, located in Saturn's rings, here are a few photos to intrigue and remind us of the miracle of our breathtaking universe!

Saturn's Aurora at Ultra-Violet Wavelengths                   NASA
North Pole Aurora of Saturn Seen with Infrared Light    NASA
An aurora is caused by charged particles streaming along the magnetic field lines of a planet into its atmosphere, like we see on Earth with the Northern and Southern Lights. Scientists working with data from the Cassini probe called Saturn's Aurora at its North Pole "a fantastic surprise" that showed that there was something "special and unforseen" about the planet's magnetosphere.

Come to find out the auorae are linked to an electrical connection between the Ringed Planet and one of  its smallest moons, Enceladus. Enceladus is only one of three planetary bodies in the Outer Solar System that has eruptions- in this case, huge geysers of heated liquid and organic particles.

Processed Blue so we can see the individual jets gushing from Enceladus  NASA

 Raw, unprocessed photo from Cassini of the plumes shooting out of Enceladus!
 Scientists have even recorded the sound of these two heavenly bodies interacting!

As if all that were not fascinating enough- there is more. Did you know that there is a mysterious, hexagon shape at the top of Saturn? It has been there for at least the last 20 years!

And I leave you with the photo I liked the most of Enceladus!
Enceladus with Saturn's Rings                                                                 NASA
As I said in another post-
"The universe we live in is one integrated, whole; all is connected, all is sacred. May its splendor continually blow our minds and shatter the illusion of our fear-based egos, so we can see once again that we are whole, good and intimately connected to the one, great web of life."


Shirley said...

Lovely, interesting photos and sounds, Barb. (I could do without the NASA-created film scores, but I know that they use these as a marketing device) I find the Saturn hexagon wondrous - but they do exist in nature in many forms; consider honeycombs - and the way bubbles fit together. Thanks for posting.

Clear Stream Media said...

Thanks Shirley! NASA should hire you to do the film scores!! Yeah, the hexagon blew me away too- but you're right they do appear in nature- but why at the top of a planet? Mysterious!

Barbara Upton said...

and my friend Paige tried to post here- This is what she had to say-
"No matter what I learn, there is always more wondrous and unimaginable stuff found in the universe. I wonder what a mathematician would say about the geometry of the sphere with a hexagon...the rings too?"